Queue My Review

October 2, 2008

Review: When Day Breaks by Mary Jane Clark

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , , — kris012 @ 8:42 pm
When Day Breaks by Mary Jane Clark

The world of morning news programs is absolutely cutthroat, and when the well-known anchor of the top-rated program is found suspiciously dead, the pressure is on to solve the case.  This is the premise of “When Day Breaks” by Mary Jane Clark.  Constance Young made lots of enemies as she climbed to the top, so there are plenty of potential suspects.

Including among the suspects is Stuart Whitaker, a millionaire video game developer.  Stuart has an obsession with the Medieval Ages, and in particular, the romance between King Arthur and Queen Guinevere.  Stuart is constantly looking for ways to show his love to Constance, and even stole a special unicorn necklace to demonstrate his devotion.  Other suspects include Constance’s employee who bitterly resents how he has been treated, a man convinced she ruined his career, and her own sister who is jealous of her lifestyle.

Eliza Blake, Constance’s former colleague, is on the hunt for the story, so she’s conducting her own investigation into the case.  Through Eliza’s careful questioning and analysis, she often stays 2 steps ahead of the police and ahead of the other news organizations, all while managing her life as the single mother of a first grader.

One thing that stood out for me about this book was the odd use of the “floating” third person (I don’t remember the formal grammatical term for when the third person point of view changes from character to character).  I typically don’t read too many mysteries, so I am unsure if this is a standard mystery writing style, but I was very puzzled by its use.  By using this writing style, I was able to eliminate several strong suspects from consideration because, while observing their thoughts, they were just as shocked by the murder as anybody else.  For example, Constance’s sister expects a large inheritance when Constance dies.  But while we see her thinking how much she could use the money, she clearly doesn’t know anything else about the murder.

Because of this “simple” way of eliminating many of the suspects, it became apparent about half way through who the murderer is.  However, even with that knowledge, the book still captivated me until the end because I wanted to find out what happened to several of the characters.  The book is written with lots of small chapters, so it goes very quickly and is easy to read even if you have to put it down often.  “When Day Breaks” by Mary Jane Clark is a fun mystery read that takes place in the fascinating world of morning news shows.


Reviewed by Kristina


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